Earlier this year, Federal Education Minister The Honourable Dan Tehan MP announced a review of the Melbourne Declaration. In 2008, the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians was signed by all Australian Education Ministers at the time. It set out two main goals for education in Australia:
The promotion of equity and excellence in Australian schools; and,
That all young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.
Submissions to the review were invited from education stakeholders and community members. AUSPELD and LDA (Learning Difficulties Australia) completed a joint submission which can be viewed here.
This accessible and punchy series, overseen by researchED founder Tom Bennett, tackles the most important topics in education, with a range of experienced contributors exploring the latest evidence and research and how it can apply in a variety of classroom settings.
The value and use of explicit instruction to improve academic outcomes is explored across a range of settings and subject areas. Incorporating compelling evidence from the cognitive sciences, the writers include: Kris Boulton; Greg Ashman; Gethyn Jones; Tom Needham; Lia Martin and Amy Coombe; Naveen Rivzi; Hannah Stoten; John Blake; Sarah Barker; Summer Turner; Sarah Cullen and Zig Englemann. Editor: Adam Boxer.
Guide to Educational Myths
The most damaging myths that continue to circulate in education settings are identified and discussed in this edition by a selection of evidence informed writers including: Clare Sealy, Tom Sherrington, Andrew Old, Mark Enser, Robert and Elizabeth Bjork, Harry Fletcher Wood, Greg Ashman and Doug Lemov. Editor: Craig Barton.
Guide to Literacy
What do we mean by literacy, why it matters and what happens if we don’t get it right? An exploration of this important area with contributions from: Kathy Rastle, Rhona
Stainthorp, Tom Needham, Alex Quigley, Jessie Ricketts, Kevin and Robyn Wheldall, Kerry Hempenstall and Dianne Murphy. Editors: James Murphy and Tom Bennett.
Guide to the Curriculum
How can schools get the most out of a rich curriculum? Contributors to this title include: Neil Almond; Andrew Percival; Doug Lemov and Emily Badillo; Sonia Thompson; Christine Counsell; Michael Young; Ruth Ashbee; and Aurora Reid. Editor: Clare Sealy.
Each ResearchED guide is priced at $24 each, or $60 for any three, and $80 for any four.
The Specific Learning Disorders Flow Chart is a useful reference for anyone working with students with SLD. It provides an overview of the types of specific learning disorders including identifying characteristics and underlying processing impairments. The flow chart outlines the functional impact of a learning disorder in the classroom and the implications for intervention. Recommendations for adjustments and accommodations are also detailed.
Two versions of the flow chart are provided below: a printable version designed to be printed double-sided onto A3 paper, and a PDF version suited to viewing on computer or another electronic device.
A web version and a downloadable PDF of Understanding Learning Difficulties: A Guide for Parents (Revised Edition) are now available free of charge on the ULD for Parents website.
This Guide has recently been revamped to provide parents and carers with additional information about the nature of learning disabilities in children, and to offer up-to-date practical guidance on the most appropriate identification, intervention and support.
The first AUSPELD Understanding Learning Difficulties: A Practical Guide was published in 2014 and rapidly became a must-have title for any educator or allied professional supporting students with learning difficulties or specific learning disorders. The guides provide readers with an in-depth understanding of learning difficulties and specific learning disorders, and also share advice and practical information on the best approaches to use with students who have learning difficulties or diagnosed specific learning disorders.
Additional information and several new tip sheets have also been added to the latest edition.
You can also purchase hard copies of the parents and other revised guides from the Resources page.
Internationally recognised education advisor Carol Allen is coming to Australia this year. Carol’s expertise in the area of ICT and learning difficulties is highly sought-after in the UK, and she was recognised as a “Top-ten Educator Using Technology” for 2018 by the UK parliament.
Carol will be presenting full-day teacher workshops in five capital cities focusing on how to use assistive technology as an integrated support rather than a stand alone activity. The workshops will be packed full of activities, including interactive demonstrations, which teachers will immediately be able to take away and add to their toolkit of potential ideas.
Carol has been teaching since 1980 in both primary and secondary mainstream schools, and schools for students with learning difficulties. As an English specialist, Carol is aware that communication lies at the heart of all effective teaching. As a result, the majority of her work has centred on the creative and engaging use of technology to support struggling students.
Carol Allen’s work centres on easy to replicate practice which is fun, achievable and will improve educational outcomes. Carol has provided workshops and keynote presentations in Denmark, Geneva, ATIA Florida, Riyadh, BETT, Birmingham, Manchester, London and Australia.
Carol Allen’s 2019 Australian Tour Dates and Locations
AUSPELD was a proud supporter of the DSF Language, Literacy and Learning Conference which took place in April this year. The filmed keynote presentations from the conference are now available to interested parties for a limited period. Online access is ideal for people who were unable to attend the conference in person as well as for delegates seeking to review these incredible presentations. The films may also be viewed with colleagues at staff or team meetings.
The cost to access these high quality and informative films for a six month period is:
The first AUSPELD Understanding Learning Difficulties: A Practical Guide was published in 2014 and rapidly became a must-have title for any educator or allied professional supporting students with learning difficulties or specific learning disorders. The two guides, one for teachers and one for parents, provide readers with an in-depth understanding of learning difficulties and specific learning disorders. The guides also share advice and practical information on the best approaches to use with students who have learning difficulties or diagnosed specific learning disorders.
After almost five years, the guides have now been revised to ensure they reflect current, evidence-based practice. Additional information and several new tip sheets have also been added to the latest edition.
Hard copies of the revised guides can be purchased here.
LETRS is a research-based professional development that leads to more effective instruction and improved student outcomes. The course is now available in Australia as a two-year course of study incorporating online coursework, in-person workshops, accompanying print resources and online support.
LETRS courses commence on the following dates:
Thursday 11th July
New South Wales
Saturday 13th July
Monday 15th July
Courses in South Australia and Western Australia are already in progress and new dates will be released soon.
A LETRS brochure can be downloaded here and course dates are listed here.
The Understanding Learning Difficulties e-Learning course was designed by DSF (Dyslexia-SPELD WA) and is proudly supported by AUSPELD. This online learning program consists of six interactive modules that systematically cover: an introduction to learning difficulties and learning disorders; the cognitive processing skills implicated in learning; and, the response to intervention model. Participants will also learn about how to reduce the incidence of literacy and numeracy difficulties, remediate learning difficulties and put in place appropriate support strategies and accommodations.
The e-learning course was designed to equip teachers, school psychologists, speech pathologists, specialist tutors and parents with the knowledge required to support students with learning difficulties throughout their education. To find out more about the e-learning course please visit the DSF ULD course page.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005 (DSE) require that all Australian students with disability must be able to access and participate in education on the same basis as their peers. Under the DDA, disability includes: “A disorder … that results in the person learning differently…”
Adjustments may be necessary in order to ensure that students with disability have access to education. These adjustments are based on the professional judgements of teachers, in consultation with the student and/or their parents, guardians or carers. Students with learning disorders (including Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and/or Dyscalculia) are eligible for adjustments to ensure they have access to education. Adjustments may include the provision of text-to-speech and speech-to-text assistive technologies, extra time to complete written tasks and/or intensive intervention using a structured and systematic evidence-based program (see below for further information).
Appropriate adjustments for students with Reading Disorders (Dyslexia) can be found here.
The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) is an annual collection of information about Australian school students who are receiving adjustments due to disability. The data collected from the NCCD is used by teachers and schools to improve understanding and inform planning. Students with a learning disorder who require adjustments in the classroom (as defined according to the DDA) are included in the NCCD.
The NCCD website includes information about how the NCCD should be integrated in the continuing process of teaching and learning in school. The website also includes a range of resources and tools to assist teachers and schools in planning and implementing the NCCD. Information about learning differences, learning difficulties, learning disabilities and the NCCD is available here. Another relevant resource is a podcast series featuring students, parents, teachers and experts in specific areas related to the NCCD.DSF CEO Mandy Nayton, OAM, was interviewed recently for the NCCD podcast on Classroom Adjustments: Specific Learning Needs Dyslexia and Classroom Adjustments: Specific Learning Needs Dysgraphia. The podcasts focus on potential educational adjustments that can be made in class for students with learning disorders. To listen to the podcasts, click on the links provided or search for “Classroom Adjustments” in Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts to listen via your mobile device.
Appropriate adjustments for students with Written Expression Disorders (Dysgraphia) can be found here.